Week 7 Thursday, October 24, 2013
Aristotle (Born 384 BC)
• Was somebeody that wrote in all sorts of topics, animals, the history of plants – wrote on just about every
• When he talks the – those who have been well read in ancient Greece, Young people who have aspirations of
going into political life
• The view that Aristotle defends is Naturalism – means that nature serves as the standard.
• The approach he takes is teleological – Telos meaning end/purpose – everything that exists in the world is
designed to fulfill its natural function.
• Example – the acorn and the oak tree
o Everything in nature (the acorn) is designed to fulfill its function, to become an oak tree.
o The acorn is designed to become an oak tree, the standard is nature
o Everything in nature has a purpose or end
• Ancients: What is also important to the Greeks is Phusis/ Convention – law (nomos)
• Convention is just a matter of human agreement, to the Greeks, they favored nature because they were not
1) Nicomachean Ethics
• Eduaimonia= is always translated into happiness; living well, human flourishing
• He wants to look at what is happiness
• “ Every art (Techne) investigation aims at some good “ – His definition of : good is that at which all things
• Starts off by saying that there are many arts and many ends
o Take medicine, to heal
o Warfare, to victory
o Economics to wealth
• Thse are all good but they are all for the sake of something else – so it cannot be the highest thing in the
• Is there anything that is good for its own sake? He says is Eduaimonia
• He looks at commoners, what do most people think is the good life?
• To Aristotle, most people would say that a life of pleasure is the most common
• Wealth Money brings you to wealth so weal